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Living with Dementia

Symptoms, Risk Factors & Mild to Moderate Parkinson’s Disease Dementia Diagnosis

  • - Parkinson's Disease Dementia
  • Jun 23, 2011
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  • Viewed: 2523
Tags: | executive function | inherited genes | memory retrieval | parkinson's dementia |

Symptom Signs of Mild to Moderate Parkinson’s Disease Dementia

A person with Parkinson’s disease dementia for at least two years, and in whom other dementias have been ruled out, may have Parkinson’s disease dementia if he or she has trouble with the following:

  • Executive function (meaning solving problems, planning and remembering things)
  • Memory retrieval
  • Attention

Risk Factors for Mild to Moderate Parkinson’s Disease Dementia

Understanding the risk factors that may lead to Parkinson’s disease dementia can help you look out for possible changes that may occur and seek treatment when necessary. These risk factors include:

  • Age - Parkinson’s disease dementia is more likely to develop in people who are age 70 or older when they are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease
  • Gender - men are more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease dementia than women
  • Past medical history
  • A history of depression
  • Heart and/or blood vessel problems
  • Inherited genes

Diagnosing Mild to Moderate Parkinson’s Disease Dementia

Like other forms of dementia, mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease dementia is mainly diagnosed by obtaining a detailed medical history. Sometimes, healthcare professionals will also take a look at the following areas for signs of mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease dementia:

Executive Function
The term “executive function” refers to general decision-making and judgment abilities that can be tested by asking a patient to react to a situation or complete a pattern.

Recent and Remote Memory
Recent memory can be assessed by asking a patient to describe what he or she had for dinner the previous night. A patient might also be asked to recall numbers or objects that were mentioned a few minutes earlier in the conversation.

Remote memory can be tested by asking the patient about important current or historical events. For example, the physician may ask the patient to recall well-known information and details surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Mild to Moderate Parkinson’s Disease Dementia Compared with Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease
While patients with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease dementia report deficits in learning new information, these deficits tend to be less severe than those of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. People with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease dementia may have impaired free recall, but their recognition is significantly better than those with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, potentially indicating that new information is stored but cannot readily be recalled.


Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

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